With numerous Team USA camps, 86 USWNT caps, one Women’s World Cup medal, an Olympic appearance plus four years playing with Paris Saint-Germain and four seasons with the NWSL’s Portland Thorns, 26-year old Lindsey Horan is now expanding her role and status with the U.S. Women’s National Team.
Horan has stepped up as a mentor and role model for the younger players here in Denver, especially those with few senior camp experiences. And the timing couldn’t be better. As USWNT Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski is using this camp—the first in over 200 days for U.S. Soccer—as an opportunity to survey several rising players, Horan is sharing her experiences, humble nature, and success with the younger Lady Yanks.
During Horan’s evolution as a member of the senior squad, she was mentored by one of the best: Megan Rapinoe. During a 2019 interview hosted by The Players’ Tribune, Horan highlighted the impact that Rapinoe had on her development.
Colorado Rush teams up with Real Colorado
Sophia Smith is a name to fans will want to remember. Within the world of women’s soccer, the swift forward is already a very well-known entity and she continues to make her club team, Real Colorado, proud. The 20-year old Coloradoan has been in the U.S. Soccer ranks since she was a U-14 player. Her meteoric rise earned her the honor of being the first teenager drafted into in NWSL, and so, as the first pick by the Portland Thorns early this year.
“Soph is a good friend of mine now, which is awesome. And it incredible to have her in Portland. I think she is a very, very special player,” Horan said after a recent training session at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
At the beginning of the year, Smith was with the U.S U-20 team in the Dominican Republic and arrived in Portland for Thorns preseason just in time for the coronavirus pandemic to rear its ugly head and the NSWL suspended practice and play. Once the league reopened play with their version of a bubble tournament (the Challenge Cup in Utah), Smith was eager to showcase her talents, but a knee injury kept her on the sidelines.
How she handled it impressed Horan. “For her to do in what she did in the NWSL Challenge Cup, and hang out with us the entire time doing rehab with our training staff was shocking to me. I don’ t how she did it. She did was very professional in everything she did, and it turned out great for her. She came into the NWSL Fall Series and did outstanding. I am really proud of her.”
And Horan should feel proud. In Smith’s debut last month, the forward came off of the Thorn’s bench and scored on a stunning header in the 73rd minute against the Utah Royal.
Smith is thankful for the opportunity to learn from Horan, someone she’s always looked up to.
“Obviously, we’re both from Colorado, so she is someone that I hope to follow in her footsteps. Getting to play with her, first on the Thorns, and then on this national team just has been amazing,” Smith said. “She is both an amazing person and player. Getting play alongside her and getting watch her every day in practice, I have learned so much from her alone. She is always giving her maximum effort in practice, in every game. She is all over the field. So I think she is an amazing player to be able to learn from and look up to.”